THE controversial idea of scrapping speed cameras in Bournemouth is to be investigated.

A council committee will look at whether the 20 fixed speed cameras in the town do a good job at reducing vehicle speeds and preventing collisions.

And it will also consider whether Bournemouth should follow Swindon’s example and turn off its cameras, ploughing the money into other road safety schemes instead.

Queens Park and Charminster’s Cllr Mark Anderson is behind the move. He is setting up a special ‘task and finish’ group to look specifically at the effectiveness of the town’s speed cameras.

After calling witnesses and visiting other towns, including Swindon, his committee will make recommendations that will eventually go before cabinet.

Cllr Anderson said: “I’ve been keen on this issue for a while. When I was 20 the reason I drove carefully around the town was because I knew there were police around.

“I knew that if I exceeded the speed limit I would probably get caught by a radar gun and I didn’t know where they would be.”

He said he was keen to compare the effectiveness of speed cameras with other measures, including signs that light up when speeding drivers go past.

“I just think we pay a lot of money into the safety camera partnership and I’d like to know what we actually get from it.

“We’ve got cameras in place that all the locals know. You take the two on Queens Park Avenue – everyone comes to the lights, slows down and then speeds up again. If there was a policeman somewhere along Queens Park Avenue with a radar gun, I think that could be much more effective.

“And if we don’t have the safety cameras, we can invest the money in road improvements. This could potentially include filling in potholes.

“That’s one of the things we will be looking at – should we be using some of this money to help repair the road infrastructure of the town? We have very little money from the government for road repairs.”

When Swindon council made the decision to switch off its five fixed speed cameras, road safety bosses in Bournemouth and Poole both stressed they had no plans to do the same.

But Cllr Anderson said the idea deserved investigation. “I’ve got an open mind on this,” he said. “I just want to know what people think. I want the people of Bournemouth to tell me what they want.”